Hello family and friends,
Everybody, if you can't read Japanese, it's not a problem. I can't read it either. Anyways, this past week was awesome. We found a way prepared, golden, investigator. So let's begin.
Monday ~ P-day, it was awesome. So we shopped and did all that good stuff including getting haircuts. Then we went downtown to go shoe shopping for me and let's just say, my feet are way big and I was definitely in a way too expensive shop. But it was all good. Anyways not much happened this night. So on to the next day.
Tuesday ~ This was a pretty boring day as we were preparing our electronic area books for inspection the next day. So we were putting in all the old records and stuff into the iPads and it took pretty much all day.
Wednesday ~ So this day we had interviews and training with (President) Ishii Kaicho and his wife. It was really nice. And because he loves to talk to everybody and get to know them more personally we didn't get to leave till very late, 6 o'clockish. Then we had the 1 hour train ride home. Also I left with the district leader on a Kokan (exchange) to go to his area, Gokiso. It was nice. We taught his baptismal candidate and it was awesome. Then we headed home because it was way late.
Thursday ~ I was still in Gokiso so I had a good morning there and after that we
ended the Kokan at a sushi restaurant. From there we went to a member
lesson. It was way cool. We received some very good advice, because he
served a mission and was an AP. After that we had a meeting with our
ward mission leader and that was pretty much our night.
Friday ~ So first we had DTM. And it was a good time. After that on the way
home my tire popped on my bike so we had to go get it fixed. From
there we had a member appointment so we left a bit early to get there
and while on the way we found these two way awesome guys which we will
be meeting with in the near future. Once we arrived we taught about
the atonement and the member loved it. It's kinda hard to teach him
because I am a very visual person and he is blind so he can't see my
object lessons. Any ways after that we were going to go do weekly
planning at the church, but me and my comp got separated and we both
freaked out a bit, but I made my way to the church and eventually he
did to. But we are fine and sometimes accidents happen. So once we
began weekly planning it took all of our night.
Saturday ~ This day was way busy. So after our studies and planning and stuff we
headed to the church for a lesson. The lesson was awesome and the
spirit was definitely there. The member who was there definitely was a
big help. She helped explain things so nicely. After that we went home
ate lunch/dinner and then headed out to visit a member. And he lives
way south, but we went and had a nice little lesson. Then right after
the lesson we got a call from another member saying they were at the
church ready for the lesson I had setup and then proceeded to forget
about. But we rushed to the church and had the lesson. It was way
good. Then the day was done and we went home to go to bed.
Sunday ~ Sunday's are always stressful for missionaries as we worry about a lot
of things. And this Sunday was definitely a stressful one. We had two
investigators who said they were coming and we had to find a ride for
one and then our other one was coming just a bit late and he was
nervous. Anyways they both came and loved it and want to come back.
One could only stay for 1 hour but the other stayed for 3 and we got
to have a lesson with him during 2nd hour and then we had priesthood
meeting together and it was way nice. After church was over we had
meetings till late afternoon and then we went home and finally ate
lunch and then had to turn around and go back to the church to setup
for one of the Shimai's farewell party as she is going home at the end
of this transfer. And that was the week.
P.S.Also if anybody has any questions about what I'm doing or what's
Japan like, you can email me directly and I will try to answer. Also I
do love hearing about everybody so any and all emails are welcome. I
will try to write back short little emails if at all possible.
Now for those of us that don't read Japanese, myself (Elder Williams included), here's the translation of the above weird looking scribbles that are called the Japanese language:
"I'm a missionary. On a steel horse I ride. And I'm wanted (wanted) dead or alive (dead or alive). I've seen a million danchis and I've knocked them all. And I'm wanted (wanted) dead or alive (dead or
alive)." – derived from a great Bon Jovi song by a past Elder Williams
Note: danchis are the giant apartment complexes in Japan pronounced dān-chees.)
Anyways let's begin! During this week we worked really well/good/hard, but we did not see the fruit of our labors. I think that's a bit hard, but we are still healthy, good, and full of energy. Ok here goes the weekly rap up:
Monday, Monday, Monday ~ P-day so not much, but that night was so awesome. So this takes some
back story, but oh well. So last week I received a packet on how to find from a missionary in Canada. A guy I don't even know and he just blindly guessed my email. Now our missionary emails are firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you know my first name, you know how lucky I was to receive this. Anyways we had started using it and it was awesome. So we decided to email to the mission president so he could decide if he wanted to give it to all the missionaries. Mind you this packet is 60+ pages long, so yeah it has a lot of ideas. So that night while using an idea from this packet we ran in to this awesome Japanese man. When we started talking to him he was smoking a cigarette, but that doesn't stop us because we believe anyone can change. So as we were talking we brought up the topic of God, because we like to do that. And when he started to talk about God he put out his cigarette, freshly lit, and threw it away. He then proceeded to tell us about how recently he has come to the knowledge that there is only one God and that he can communicate to this God through prayer. Now some of you at home are going to be like, "What?! This is common knowledge." But this is Japan and something like this is, is like finding a gold nugget in the middle of the street. It just doesn't happen all that often. But this guy was awesome and as we scrambled to get over our shock of this man’s awesome experience and we tried to exchange information, but his bus came and he had to leave. So nothing
came out of this, but he got a pamphlet with our names and number on it so you never know. So after that it was late and we decided to return home and on the way home we got a call from the APs, assistants to the president. Now if you've served a mission you know that the AP’s usually don't call regular missionaries all the often. And by no means am I special. I'm not a district leader or a zone leader; I'm just
Elder Williams from Las Vegas, Nevada, who speaks enough Japanese with just the right pronunciation to fool everyone into thinking I know Japanese. Anyways the call came and they asked for me and I was asked to explain the packet and how I was using it and if there were benefits. So I did my best and they then told me that the packet would probably be released to the whole mission, either in its entirety or they will edit out the parts that they don't like and release their own version. Well, that was the night of P-day.
Tuesday ~ We had a way awesome afternoon planned with some of the young men in the ward. They had school off for winter break so we went and played basketball with them and it was so fun. Like these guys are all 12-15 and Japanese so they are way small but they were so fun to play with. It was an outdoor court so there wasn't much craziness but they were all so fun to play with. Their parents were so thankful that we decided to do that with them and it was just an overall fun time. Then that night we went out to dendo (tracting) and we found this awesome Indian Doctor, from the county India, and he talked to us for a long time and then he said he would like to meet up again sometime because he feels lonely here in Japan win out his family and not being able to communicate with people. He will be headed back to India soon because his study in Japan will end soon. But hey he wants to meet up again.
Wednesday ~ Kind of a hard day, talked to lots of people and no one wanted to meet again and because it's the middle of the week no one wanted to meet with us. So we prepared for that nights Eikaiwa activity. The week before we had taught about food words but not a lot of people came because of New Year’s so we decided to review the topic of food and then we had a make your own pizza party. At one of e grocery stores here I found pizza crusts and spaghetti sauce and other stuff to make pizza so we had a giant pizza party. And it was a big hit the little kids in the kids class had their parents help and everyone enjoyed making pizzas. And that was the end of our night.
Thursday ~ This day we had a daily planning session so we didn't leave the apartment till 3 pm and we headed to the church for our member appointment, but the member forgot so we didn't get to meet with them. And this day was kind of a repeat of Wednesday. People thought what we talked about was cool, but not cool enough to want to meet again which is really hard because I see how these people’s lives could benefit from the gospel, but they won't let me help them. It's really frustrating, but after that we had a meeting with the ward mission leader and he always brightens my day because he is so energetic. After that we headed home and there we received a referral from some other missionaries and all that was left was for is to contact him. Anyways, kind of a tough day.
Friday ~ To start the day we had ZTM (Zone Training Meeting) in 四日市、Yokkaichi, and it was really nice to finally meet the entire zone and know who we are working with and what our zone leaders actually look like. So it was a nice time, but it took up almost all of our day. After ZTM we had a lesson with Hayashi San. He's a way nice guy, but it's hard for him to progress because he still lives with his parents and he's pretty sure they would be against a church, so he meets with us pretty much in secret. He's way
awesome and loves the feeling of when we meet with him, but he's really afraid of his parents. He's an adult, but housing is expensive in Japan so it's not uncommon to see an adult living at home with mom and dad. After his lesson we finished the rest of the cleaning we were unable to finish on the pizza night which was really just taking our stuff home and then after that it was another repeat of the days before. No one wanted to meet again or thought that this could help their lives. So we move on to the next day
Saturday ~ So we had forgot our toaster oven at the church since the pizza party so we decide to run and get it and on the way back we met a guy who knew the old missionaries and met with them and he had a good time. He really liked the past missionaries, but he really didn't want to meet again. But we talked for like an hour and it was nice. After that we made lunch and were deciding where we wanted to go when we got a call from an investigator, who we had worked with earlier and then had decided to not contact us or meet with us. Anyway, he randomly called us and said he wanted to meet again, and in 30 minutes. So we scrapped all ideas of where we were going to go and booked it to the church, there we had no idea what we were going to do but we had the idea to lay out all the pamphlets and let him decide. But before that he had also said that he wanted to learn English from us, so we were ready to teach him that to. So when he walked in he told us that he didn't have a lot of time and the thought popped into my head that he was going to do English and run, but then he said skip the English and teach me the gospel pretty much. So I was way surprised. From there we laid out everything we had and he told us he has learned everything, but he doesn't know why he wants to meet with us or why our church is special. So we talked about our purpose as missionaries and that's when the second question came up and from there we taught the restoration again and he understood, and the spirit was so strong. And it was awesome. And it was such a nice lesson. After that he saw the piano and asked if I could play and with my limited ability I played "He Sent His Son" in the primary hymn book. And he liked it. But that was the end of the day except it was more of the same as the past days at night.
Sunday ~ We had a really nice sacrament meeting and while I was sitting in Sunday School when an investigator from Saturday called and asked if we were in church, and I was like yeah come on over. But he wanted to do a personal lesson and I was like we can do that too, but he was a bit shy so he never came but it was all good. After that we had a shoukujikai, literally translated it means food meeting, but it means that after church we had a ton of food provided by the ward So it was a ward potluck, and after we had eaten all we could we were getting ready to leave and go meet an investigator, but before we could do that, a guy walked in to the church wanting to know more so we showed him the couch and explained what our church is like. And after that we had to practically run to catch the train. After the lesson we had and all the trains back, it was way late and that was our week.
So to recap sometimes people are stubborn and being stubborn back doesn't always help. Don't ever give up on somebody, and trains are awesome modes of transportation
So this week was kind of slow for things because of the New Year’s celebrations. But you know we did our best. New Years in Japan is a bit different than in America as pretty much everyone is off of work and nobody will really meet with you because their schedules are all out of whack but you know its chill. Now to start the week:
Monday ~ So we met with the guy from last week's email and he brought a friend along which was really awesome. And we went out to ramen and talked about what we do as missionaries and they were really cool with it. Then after that we did our normal p-day stuff, shopping cleaning, etc. then that night we started talking to this guy at a bus station and he was really cool. Than the bus rolled up and I was already to let him go and get on the bus, but he said something like, "Oh I'm not riding the bus, I'm waiting for someone." And I was cool with that because talking to more people is more fun. But then he pointed to who he was waiting for and I was then surprised. It was, I'm pretty sure but not 100% sure, his girlfriend. And then we talked for a long time and they agreed to meet again but they didn't know when they could because of, yep you guessed it, Shougatsu (New Year’s). But it was all good so we ended on a good note and because it was cold we said good bye and headed home.
Tuesday ~ No one seems to like Tuesday appointments, so we decided to take a big long loop around our area and visit less active members and some active members. It was a good idea as some members were grateful for the visits. But one less active decided he didn't want to affiliate with the church anymore during our visit. And it was really sad. He said that he wants to go to God's original church but that it no longer exists on this earth. I proceeded to try to teach the restoration to the best of my Japanese ability but he wasn't willing to try and find out for himself through prayer and scripture study. But he said he liked us but he didn't believe it anymore. Anyways that night on the way home I spotted a trio of young adults and decided to become one of the group and well it worked and we ended up talking for a really long time and they were totally down to meet again but again if you haven't already guessed it Shougatsu got in the way again. But we are still in contact. After that we headed back to our Apartment.
Wednesday ~ So this day we had a lunch appointment with someone and he stood us up but hey lunch was still delicious. From there we headed to another appointment and on the way we met a guy who was and FI (former investigator) from another area and these people usually slip through the cracks, but we found him and he wants to meet again. It's way awesome. Our other investigator happened to leave his apartment before we got there. So yeah we missed him, but oh well after that we headed to the church to prep for Eikaiwa. And the theme was food so I brought my candy stash and shared it with them and I may have happened to get some of them addicted to Reese's peanut butter cups, but oh well. After that we went home. Also this day I reviewed a packet on how to find people to teach as a missionary from some random guy in a Canada mission. And it has a ton of good ideas in it and I forwarded it to the mission president.
Thursday ~ This begins the days where we weren't supposed to leave the apartment unless we had appointments so it was kind of lame. But we had an appointment with an investigator and he said he would come to church. And then we cleaned and studied some stuff, but pretty boring.
Friday ~ Same ordeal but we had a dinner appointment with a less active member family and it was nice. They fed us well and they are going to try harder to come to church.
Saturday ~ The last day of being stuck in the apartment. But this day we had two member appointments. In one they decided to buy the all you can eat salad bar and drinks and literally told us, "You have two hours to eat as much as you can”, and we did. After that we finished cleaning the apartment and then went to the Bishop’s house for our next appointment. And they fed us some lasagna and it was good. We then discussed the wards dendo (mission) goals. Sunday was fast and testimony meeting so I bore testimony. And so did all the missionaries. So it was cool. Also went to visit an investigator and then home to work on our area map because it needed some help.
Well that was the week. To recap New Years is cool unless you're a missionary. Peace out from Japan.
Well, Christmas came and went and it was pretty special in this apartment, but for the rest of Japan it was just another day. But that's later, on Friday, so let's start from where I left off last time.
Monday ~ Well, that night we decided to walk and try to visit less active members. And because we are in a city we could do that. So we walked around and talked to everyone we saw. We had a feeling that we would find someone to teach that night but after continued strikeouts and less actives not being home we decided to return home. And then while on the way back I spotted a guy across the street and said hello to him. He happened to be going the same way as us so I decided that I was going to run over there and become this man’s best friend. And it worked. For some reason when you act like a Japanese person they tend to blow you off, but if you just be overly energetic, which is not like a Japanese person, then they want to meet again. And that's exactly what I did at like 8:40ish at night. And we became friends and we talked and he agreed to meet up again. And that was an awesome way to end the night.
Tuesday ~ We went looking for more less actives but no one was home and nobody really that we were cool enough to meet with, but we made the best of it by visiting some members. We also had a mougi lesson (practice lesson) with a member who recently served a mission, like he got home like 2-3 years ago. That's where we got some good practice and it was a nice way to end our night.
Wednesday ~ We spent the day helping prepare for the ward Christmas party and we had a great time helping out. Elder Whited was Santa for the kids and they loved it and the food was great. And then we had Eikaiwa that night where we taught them about holidays and all that goes along with that and they loved it. And Elderly Whited was again Santa and gave everyone presents. And that night after we had returned home the bishop called and asked us to come down stairs to talk and we went and all the sudden he came in our little elevator area with a giant present from the ward and it was so cool.
Thursday ~ We had a zone phone conference after studies that took up a lot of time but when we hit the streets we found a guy who was willing to meet and again it was as we were returning home. And it was awesome. And to finish the night we did inventory of all of our stuff and we are way low on Books of Mormon and so hopefully we will get some soon. Like we only have 3 left. But after inventory that was the day.
Friday was CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ~ Well I opened up my presents from family and friends and the ward and it was awesome and I thank everyone so, so, so much. Then later that morning, we called (Skyped) our parents and families. It was really nice to see and hear everyone. After that we had a lesson with an investigator and it was nice to meet him but he's having a hard time progressing because he thinks his parents are hantai (opposed) to the church. Then that night we went with the Shimai to the biggest eki (train station) in the mission and caroled and handed out Mormon.org cards and Books of Mormon. It was awesome. And then that night on the way home I stopped another guy and he agreed that he wants to meet again and talk about the gospel. It was overall a good Christmas, just a tad bit different than home.
Saturday ~ We met with two investigators and one said he wanted to come church but the other decided he didn't want to meet again because of his friends. And it was kind of sad, because when we met him that day he was with friends and he kind of defended us, but they balked us and he got kind of shy and just agreed with them. Then we visited a member who is setting up basketball with the young men for me. And she is so awesome. And that was the day for us.
Sunday ~ Elder Whited gave a talk and then we had the rest of church. We also had two appointments set for that day, but both canceled on us and it was kind of disappointing, but oh well. After that we went and visited a less active who promptly invited us to her Shougatsu (New Year’s) Party. It will be quite a fun time too. Also she knows Americans well enough that she brought us a gift bag and said, "Merry Christmas sorry this is late." And when we opened it we found two cans of A&W Root Beer. And I love root beer. After that we found a guy who was Catholic and he said he wouldn't mind meeting up and talking, but he was just a bit busy at the moment. And after that we spent like 15 minutes looking for where we had parked our bikes, because we decided to walk around. And yeah, let's just say Japan is pretty easy to get lost in.
Well that was the week here in Japan. All is good here and thanks for all of the love and support that you guys give me.
Called to Serve in the Japan Nagoya Mission..